Déjà Vu
VW CAMPER & BUS|Spring 2019

If Paul Irving has an overwhelming sense of familiarity with this Westy it’s for good reason - he’s bought and sold it twice. Here’s why he keeps coming back for more

James Peene
I’m going to kick this feature off with a quote from Lord of the Rings. Why? Because I can as it’s my mag, so I can write what I like, and it was dear old Bilbo Baggins himself who once said: “It’s no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.” The reason I’ve opened with that is because A) I’m a Tolkien nerd, and B) what you’re reading here is a basic story about a basic van, built by a basic man…

Those aren’t our words, they belong to Paul Irving, or Irv as he’s known to all and sundry. He’s the man, and name obvs behind Irv’s Restos (www.irvsvwrestoration.co.uk) and although we added the last part, we’re almost pretty sure he won’t mind the basic man jibe. Although, to be perfectly honest it’s tough if he does because it’s in print now and every time we call him to speak about one of his feature Buses - and there have been plenty down the years - we know we’ll never need more than one sheet of A4 paper to jot the essentials down. Heck we didn’t even make it onto the second side of the paper this time. Irv just laughed and said: “Ah, it’s your job to fill in the words isn’t it? It’s always just the usual stuff anyway.” Well, we suppose so, if by usual stuff you mean a one-time Montana Red ’71 pop-top Westy with the most amazing paint fade and stance, then yeah, the usual tuff.

The unusual suspects

There’s nothing usual about what Irv does, or any of the vehicles that pass through his workshop. Irv’s Restos maybe a restoration company in the middle of nowhere - Barrow in Furness, which even he says is: “A long way from civilisation” - but they also have a mean and well-deserved reputation for patina preservation and paint blending. Irv is unusually tight-lipped (for once) about the techniques they employ, but can you see any evidence of new paint on this sun-kissed beauty? No, neither can we. Which is exactly how it should be.

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